Sakura & Our Soul

Apr 09, 2022


 For Japanese people, spring is the season for ‘ohanami (flower viewing)’ and ‘hana (flowers)’ means ‘sakura’ . I am in Japan this spring after 19 year gap and I feel the power of ‘sakura’ . I’d like to share the history of ‘ohanami’, ‘sakura’ in Japanese life and the power of Sakura to our soul. I hope it will be a good cross-cultural learning for you.


It is famous that Shogun Hideyoshi enjoyed ‘ohanami’ back in 16th century and there are still many ‘sakura’ in his castle called Osaka-jo. And ‘ohanami’ became popular among general public during Edo period (1603-1868). ‘Sakura’ season is normally a few weeks between the end of March and early April but its is getting earlier recent years due to the global warming. ‘Someiyoshino’ is the most well-known ‘sakura’ but actually there are more than 100 types.


Japanese people enjoy the change of seasons. You can hear the news about ‘the first sakura blossom day’ on weather forecast. Fresh year students and newly employed workers (fresh graduates) start their new life in April and we feel the season of new start when we see ‘sakura’. This is a picnic style with bento and sake. The problem is that it gets too crowded. Therefore, companies in a big city have an employee to keep some space from day time for their evening ‘ohanami’ after work.


It is absolutely attractive that so many ‘sakura’ blossom at the same time and it makes your entire view only pink. Have you ever felt that ‘sakura’ ‘purifies your soul’, ‘fulfils your soul’ and ‘enriches your soul? Actually, I couldn’t stop talking to people to share this feeling during my morning walk and we stated talking and smiling each other saying ‘how beautiful!’ I feel that ‘sakura’ has power of connecting people.


Many things are happening in the world today but I hope ‘sakura’ refreshes your mind and gives you energy. I have shared some photos on my Instagram and I hope these make you smile.

Instagram: araiacademy


Mineko Arai

Managing Director

Arai Academy of Japanese Studies

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